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article imageDisabled teen wins spot on cheerleading squad

By Abigail Prendergast     Oct 4, 2011 in Lifestyle
Julia Sullivan, a Nebraskan teenage girl with limited arms and no legs, overcame her barriers and was able to live her dream of being a cheerleader in Portland, Michigan 800 miles from home with the help of a coach who read her story online.
A teenager from Nebraska who has incomplete arms and no legs has at last achieved her goal of becoming a cheerleader. This was due to the help of a coach roughly 800 miles away.
According to CNN, 16-year-old Julia Sullivan of Aurora and her family traveled to Portland, Michigan being invited by coach Linda Fox.
Participating for the first time in a live event on a varsity cheering squad Friday, Sullivan had tried out for her own high school's cheerleading team without success.
“I love to get the crowd going, and [am] just … excited [to] show the world what I can do,” Sullivan told CNN affiliate WILX.
Coach Fox found Julia's story on the internet and found it highly inspirational says WILX. Sullivan had been born without limbs and Fox decided to make a move when she heard of the account.
Julia and her parents, Mike and Carolyn Sullivan, hopped a plane from Nebraska to Michigan and paid for the trip themselves reports the Omaha World-Herald.
"What we're doing for Julia is in celebration of what this kid can do, her joy for life," Coach Fox said prior to the rally. "She's doing the best she can with what God gave her, and that's a miracle."
Donning augmented Portland High School cheerleading garb, Julia cheered on the sidelines while in her chair. She even took part in the final stunt being assisted by the team, to an applauding student body reports says the Ionia Sentinal-Standard.
“Her cheering may not be quite the same as other people’s, but she can still do it. She can strap on the pom poms – her spirit is still there,” Mike Sullivan told WILX.
Next year, Julia will attempt to make her own high school's cheerleading team and the family as well as the school district agreed help accommodate her despite the lack of a definite yes that she'll make the team.
In addition to cheerleading, Julia has also taken dance classes and had been in pep and marching bands the World-Herald reports.
More about Disability, Cheerleader, varsity
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